Telluride’s Second Stage: lowering the Bard with shows starting 12/18

Telluride’s Second Stage: lowering the Bard with shows starting 12/18

[click “Play” to hear Jeb Berrier speak about playing Shakespeare]

Jeb_shakes Friday, December 18 – Tuesday, December 22, 8 p.m., Telluride Second Stage presents “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged.” at the Sheridan Opera House. The production is directed by Jeb Berrier and stars the unholy trinity of the Telluride stage: Berrier, Ashley Boling and Buff Hooper. Fair warning: Hooper will be wearing tights.

Why do we keep returning to Shakespeare? Short answer: no other writer holds up a truer mirror to human nature. The Bard manages to slice and dice, distill and dramatize emotions that don’t date, and without an agenda: rather than trying to save mankind with his pen, Shakespeare cuts to the quick with his poetry, which acts like dime store magnifiers that allow us to see what is actually described in the small print.

“Psychology, sociology, political theory, business, medicine, and law have all welcomed and recognized Shakespeare as the founder, authorizer, forerunner of important categories and practices in their fields,” writes Marjorie Garber  in her newest study of the Bard’s influence, “Shakespeare and Modern Culture.” Critics described HBO’s “The Sopranos” as “a bloodbath of Shakepearian proportions.” A ‘Romeo’ is a young romantic. A ‘Lady Macbeth’ is a Machiavellian female politico. A ‘Hamlet’ is a dysfunctional young man paralyzed by over thinking and a dab of narcissism – or is it redundant to call any young man a narcissist? We hold these truths…

The fact the Bard is both an adjective and purveyor of adjectives in pop culture gives Berrier’s  adaptation of “Abridged” its long legs:. The original dating back over 30 years was London’s longest running comedy: 10 years in the West End.

In addition to Berrier, Boling and Hooper, the productions boasts  lights by Tom Wince and costumes, props, and stage management by Sara Doehrman.

To learn more about what’s in store, click the “play” button and listen to Berrier’s podcast.

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